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Aaron D.

Aaron D.

Joined on 05/25/04

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Most Favorable Review

Made for low power server/NAS storage

WD Red Plus 1TB NAS Hard Disk Drive - 5400 RPM Class SATA 6Gb/s 16MB Cache 2.5 Inch - WD10JFCX
WD Red Plus 1TB NAS Hard Disk Drive - 5400 RPM Class SATA 6Gb/s 16MB Cache 2.5 Inch - WD10JFCX

Pros: I received two of these drives to review, and tested them with both my custom built WHS and my ReadyNAS 312. Three things immediately apparent with these drives are : Their low power consumption (compared to standard desktop drives and laptop drives) and Because of the low power consumption, these drives run much cooler than standard drives. And lastly, these drives are very quiet. Average temperature in my ReadyNAS went from 42c to 34c (under heavy use). Power consumption went from ~35 watts to 30 watts. Similar results were observed in my WHS. Although the drives in the WHS are standard 7200 rpm drives so the power consumption reduced by about 10 watts. These observations can be attributed to the newest version of intellipower in these drives (lower power consumption, noise reduction, less heat generated) and the upgrade to NASware 2.0. 2 of these drives in raid 0 (and even raid 1) are more than enough to saturate gigabit ethernet for a home nas. Even single drive performance is very good even compared to other laptop drives (100+MB/s read/80+MB write). The new intellipower has been tuned for higher performance, while sacrificing nothing in power consumption and noise. Drives carry a 3 year warranty (a good thing considering drive warranties have been reduced over the past few years). Benchmarks of these drives can be found by a few different review sites and perhaps a few eggxperts will post some also. The bottom line is these drives perform quite well by today's standards for 2.5 inch drives - that's great considering the size of these drives (1TB) and power consumption and noise levels of these drives.

Cons: None on these drives, however the 1st gen Red desktop size drives have a bad reputation. Hopefully WD has learned what was wrong with those drives and has made a reliable quality product.

Overall Review: I was excited to see WD release the RED series drives in a 2.5 inch form factor. This will allow NAS devices to get to a MUCH smaller form factor - I am thinking my ReadyNAS could be about 1/3 of the size it is now (since it wouldn't have to accommodate 2 desktop size HDDs) and home server boxes in a much smaller form factor as well. With everything going to smaller form factors, these drives *should they prove to be reliable* will allow a shrinking of NAS/Home servers and allow an even lower power requirement as well. And with a lower power requirement, less cooling will be needed - which will also mean less noise as well.

11/11/2013
Most Critical Review

Updating eggxpert review

Seagate ST1000LM014 1TB 5400 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 2.5" Laptop SSHD Bare Drive
Seagate ST1000LM014 1TB 5400 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 2.5" Laptop SSHD Bare Drive

Pros: Updating eggxpert review from 4-15-13.

Cons: After about 7 months, this drive has failed. About a month ago the drive was noticeably louder and today the drive has completely failed.

Overall Review: Sad to see such a failure with HDD warranties getting shorter these days...

Fantastic Case with 5 1/4 bays!

Fractal Design Pop Air RGB Black Orange Core TG ATX High-Airflow Clear Tempered Glass Window Mid Tower Computer Case
Fractal Design Pop Air RGB Black Orange Core TG ATX High-Airflow Clear Tempered Glass Window Mid Tower Computer Case

Pros: Pictures don't do this justice, this is a really nice looking case. 2! 5 1/4" bays Just enough room to route cables in the back Premium feel, nothing feels cheap or bends Plenty of airflow with the mesh front Built in ARGB controller The included 3 argb fans are average but do the job.

Cons: Mounting a 5 1/4 drive flush as pictured and as suggested in the build guide has the cover plate resting on the eject button and literally hitting my desk lightly means watching the drive open and popping that cover off. Either you have to mount it back a bit (which my OCD won't allow), or be careful when placing the cover on/off. RGB controller is lacking, plus I wish there was a cable included to sync the power button to the rest of the system Can be a bit tight in spots when building - make sure you build in the proper order (see other thoughts)

Overall Review: Ignore the build guide included with the system, install the power supply LAST. I had to remove half my build (since I had already done some cable managing) to get the front panel audio connected as there wasn't enough room to fit the connector past the power supply when it was installed. If air cooling, maybe move the front fans inside the system to allow for more airflow - having the fans pressed up against the mesh seems like it would constrain the flow a bit. ASUS TUF Gaming X570 Plus Wifi Ryzen 3900x RTX 3060ti FE Arctic Liquid Freezer ii 280 G Skill Trident Z (b die) OC Corsair RM 650

Great addition to the LS100 light kit!

CORSAIR iCUE LS100 Smart Lighting Strip Expansion Kit 250mm, CD-9010001-WW/SS
CORSAIR iCUE LS100 Smart Lighting Strip Expansion Kit 250mm, CD-9010001-WW/SS

Pros: Plug and play with the LS100 Smart lighting kit Identical to the smaller strips included with the kit Great diffusion Great customization

Cons: Magnet VHB peels on both the expansion kit and starter kit were difficult. (see my review on the LS100 starter kit) Adding this expansion kit throws off the timing just a bit when using these on my ultrawide monitor when having the lights "chase" on the top and bottom. The top side was just a touch behind. This didn't happen with the initial install I did with just the starter kit. iCue doesn't seem to fully support using these for standard ultrawide monitors - the picture in the software shows an ultra-ultra wide for the 'Ultrawide' setting (like the 49" variety) with 2 short strips and 4 long strips and not my config of 4 short and 2 long. Maybe full support can be added for the more standard 34" ultrawides using this kit?

Overall Review: A great addition for the starter kit - especially for ultrawide monitors.

Amazing kit!

CORSAIR iCUE LS100 Smart Lighting Strip Starter Kit, CD-9010001-NA
CORSAIR iCUE LS100 Smart Lighting Strip Starter Kit, CD-9010001-NA

Pros: Just about perfect brightness Excellent diffusion Easy enough to install Completely customizable within iCue Can even be used without iCue (hardware profile) - but there's not as much customization

Cons: Magnet VHB peels didn't peel. There is a tab on every magnet and I needed to use a box cutter and poke under the peels to get them started. Just pulling it by the tab wouldn't start the peel. This was the most frustrating thing and why I deducted an egg. Magnets hold well enough, but could be stronger. iCue software was 1gb...

Overall Review: When setting this up make sure to read the instructions and start at the correct corner on the back of your monitor and work in the correct direction! Ultrawide monitors need additional strips for full coverage (LS100 expansion kit)

Great RGB!

CORSAIR Vengeance RGB RT 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) AMD Optimized Desktop Memory Model CMN16GX4M2Z3200C16W
CORSAIR Vengeance RGB RT 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) AMD Optimized Desktop Memory Model CMN16GX4M2Z3200C16W

Pros: RGB is bright. White doesn't look blue or yellow. The attention to detail, especially the sticker placement and the RGB "effect" look great. Arguably the best looking RAM Corsair has made. Ran at advertised speeds without issue. Lifetime warranty.

Cons: Single rank. Compared to dual rank, single rank is up to 10% slower in games and depending on the application up to 20% slower than dual rank. There's a few sites that have published the differences that I would like to link, but I'm not sure that it's allowed so I won't link any of those sites. However, I work a lot in Lightroom and Photoshop mainly converting camera raw files - which is very ram intensive and to a lesser extent core dependent. Converting 100 raw files to jpg with this kit took an average of 2 minutes 48 seconds (averaged over 5 runs). Another 16GB kit I have is dual rank with the same timings and the same 100 files averaged 2:15. Please note that this single rank limitation is negated with 4 sticks of single rank ram. iCUE is required for RGB control. I own both a MSI B450 tomahawk and Asus Tuf Gaming X570 plus wifi and neither Mystic Light nor Aura was able to control the RGB of this ram. iCUE continues to be the most resource hogging software. Corsair shouldn't be able to put Aura sync and Mystic Light compatible when it clearly isn't. What Corsair means to say is that once you install iCUE, iCUE will control the rest of your RGB that was previously controlled by Aura/Mystic. Neither of my systems automatically detected XMP. This is a neat feature that I wish more boards supported. Both of my systems defaulted this kit to 3200, but at 22-22-22-53-75. Micron D die. I tried with the memory calculator to oc and thought it was stable at the "safe" preset, but 10 files into my raw conversion I blue screened. Adding more voltage did not bring any stability. I did not have any issues running at the rated XMP speed, however. So this ram is tapped out (at least my set) and will not overclock any further. Taking the pictures for this review and realizing how dusty/dirty my system was :) I feel exposed! But not enough to clean it and retake the pictures.

Overall Review: This "AMD optimized" thing is just marketing fluff. There's nothing special about 3200 16-18-18-38 timings. Most, if not all, kits at 3200 XMP run at these timings. From what my experience in reading reviews, looking at benchmarks, and my own experience in Lightroom - the best "optimized ram" for Ryzen is dual rank at 3600 with very low latency (like CL 16 or better yet, CL 14). This allows the memory controller to run 1:1 synchronized with the ram speed at the highest speed the memory controller in Zen 2 and 3 run (1800mhz). 3200 used to be the best "bang for your buck," but (especially lately) RAM prices have gone down, negating this a bit. It's possible to have dual rank dual channel memory with 4 sticks of single rank ram, which eliminates the lower "single rank" performance. If you value looks and stability over outright performance, and already use iCUE for other components (like a Corsair case and case fans/rgb strips) this kit will be a great addition for your build. And if you want dual rank and higher performance, buy 2 sets of this ram.

10/19/2021